My husband and I are new parents and as such, we are learning what it takes to care and feed a newborn child without losing our sanity in the process, no easy task. I chose this picture to go along with this post, because it doesn’t tell the full story, it only shows you the half of it. The following is the other half, the not so perfectly posed half. Here goes….
My husband had a few days off and I am on maternity leave so we got the bright idea to take a road trip to New Orleans- my hometown. We had no idea what was in store for us as we wended our way to the Big Easy, (What a misnomer)
First of all, the trip which normally takes 9 hours, took 12. We stopped off in Houston to drop off our dog with the pet hotel since we figured traveling with a dog AND a baby would be too much and so we dropped her off for her own vacation. There were a few stops that were unscheduled because the child needs to eat, who knew! I am joking of course, I know my child needs to eat, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of stops that would be added to our itinerary.
So we got in to New Orleans about 9pm on Monday, and stopped by to see my Mom, and had the ambitious plan to stroll the French Market and then meet her for lunch the next day… easy right? No, not easy at all… and in fact rather impossible.
The next morning, we awoke and showered to prepare for our day.
We got a late start because thankfully she slept through the night which meant Mom and Dad also got a full 8 hours (YAY, no small feat… when this happens we always thank God (loudly and lustily). We noticed Vivienne needed a bath so we got the bright idea to give her a bath, but though we packed seemingly everything under the sun that was hers, we did NOT pack her special baby soap, so we used my soap which is Argan Oil based. I figured it was organic so should be fine, right? Wrong. No sooner did we get her out of the tub and onto the towel, she started to get red dots on her skin… and the baby is screaming.
We immediately freak out and my husband hotfoots it to the nearest pharmacy to buy Baby Benadryl, and called our pediatrician on the way who told him to not panic and keep an eye on her, if she got swelling in her mouth or her tongue or her throat, then we should bring her to the Emergency Room, and she told him NOT to give the baby Benadryl… and the baby is screaming.
By the time he got back to the room, she had calmed down and magically had no red spots anywhere, so we can only conclude that it might have been a mild allergic reaction which upon further reflection could have been the soap, the towel, or any number of things. Remarking to ourselves that we overreacted and with the crisis averted, we breathed a collective sigh of relief and headed to the Ruby Slipper for a late brunch. It was tasty and delicious and our server delightful, we then headed to the French Quarter for some shopping. We found a little dress shop that had several things that piqued my interest, and since I’m on the hunt for a good vintage dress I started to pick through my options. I am just starting to try on a really gorgeous velvet number when the baby starts screaming for food.
My husband is a good sport and takes her outside to feed her, (thinking there would be a bench somewhere but no there is not)… he walks back into the shop… and the baby is screaming.
Jeremy: “Babydoll, where is the bottle for her? I see milk but no bottle?”
Jennifer: (rather impatiently) “It’s in the diaper bag” – Pause.
Jeremy: “Um no, it’s not”
Jennifer: “Here give me the bag, I’ll get it”… and the baby is screaming
As you may have surmised, the bottle is NOT there, so Jeremy being a problem solver heads to the Walgreens (you guessed it, up a few blocks and over) to buy a bottle so he can feed our child – and while he is doing that I decide that I am going to buy a dress hopefully making this bad moment worth it. I am all ready to head to the counter and then I realize, when he left with the baby, he took my wallet with him. UGH… So I decide that I will head to the pharmacy to get it, but when I get to the pharmacy and can’t find either of them, and start to panic. I call them on my phone… and the baby is screaming
At this point, I put two and two together and realize there is no way on God’s green earth we are going to make lunch with my Mom. I call her and being the wise and understanding soul she is, says, “Let’s do dinner instead!” so that helped immensely.
We proceed to the French Market and while many things struck my fancy, nothing called to me and said, “Jennifer, you must buy me” so I didn’t. We both talk about being tired and since it’s a 30 minute walk back to our hotel and my feet are REALLY hurting, my sweet and thoughtful husband suggests I get an Uber to go back to the hotel, get the car and come pick them back up. I seize on this suggestion and hop in the Uber, we agree to meet at Ursulines and Chartres in about 20 minutes. Sounds easy enough right? Well it would have been if I hadn’t left my cellphone in the Uber!!!!!!!!!! I realize it as I am getting in our car and reach for my phone to call them, I immediately start back to that corner, but they aren’t there. They could not have gotten far, I wasn’t gone that long, I circle the block, once, twice.. not there and I don’t have a way to communicate since I do NOT HAVE MY PHONE!.
If I had thought clearly (and as you can likely tell I wasn’t) I would have gone to our hotel (which would have solved all my problems since the driver was nice enough to see that I left my phone and brought it to the front desk) to use their phone but by this point I am frantic and terrified that I have lost them. I asked three different people on the street if I could use their cell phone (either I seemed crazy or they truly didn’t have a phone to lend but I doubt it) before I got the idea to go to a bar and call him from the phone. However, his phone number is not local, so luckily a waitress at Checkpoint Charlie’s lent me her cellphone, and I called my husband’s number (luckily I have it memorized) but he did not answer. Lucky for me, he did call back immediately… and the baby was screaming.
You will be glad to know there is a happy ending to this… we were together and had beignet at Cafe Du Monde (they are delicious) but even more so when accompanied by the knowledge your husband and child are safe and sound.
So what did I learn from this experience?
- When you have a child, EVERYTHING takes longer than you think.
- Give yourself grace, things aren’t going to go as planned more often than not.
- Double check that you ALWAYS have a bottle.
- Marry a great partner who is understanding and resourceful.
THINK ABOUT IT!